This morning I visited Bang Pra Non-hunting Area, rather amazingly this was my first visit to the site (the wonders of becoming a car owner!), with the hope of connecting with one of my bogey birds - Chestnut-capped Babbler.
The site seems to have a lot of potential and whilst this morning's visit produced a fairly unremarkable selection of open country birds it might well produce some interesting species during migration and the winter months. I say "unremarkable" because there was only a handful of species that I saw this morning that I have not found in Suan Rot Fai in the heart of Bangkok, and given that the drive took me an hour and a quarter (rather than the ten minutes it takes to get to my patch) it seemed like rather a lot of effort for relatively slender rewards. However it must be emphasised that a) I get to do my patch of a regular basis and could never hope to pick up as many species there in a single day as I did at Bang Pra this morning (so for birders on holiday in Thailand it would make sense to go there to pick up a good selection of open country species), and b) it's the wet season, the end of the breeding season - not the best time of year to try to get a big list!
After a fair bit of slogging around Bang Pra's grassland I eventually picked up my sought after Chestnut-capped Babbler, two birds infact that were calling from a dense patch of sedges and showed briefly a couple of times though they called constantly (I also had to threaten a rather large, aggressive dog with my tripod whilst trying to see them, which didn't really enhance the ticking experience!). The other species of note included a female Laced Woodpecker, a couple of groups of Rufous Treepies, a Racket-tailed Treepie, Lesser Coucal, several White-crested Laughingthrushes, Little and Blue-throated Bee-eaters, two Linneated Barbets, a Shikra, about 10 Indochinese Bushlarks, Rufescent Prinia and single Bronze-winged Jacana and Cinnamon Bittern.